(Headline USA) The Justice Department has asked a court to unseal the search warrant the FBI received before searching the Florida estate of former President Donald Trump, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday.
Garland cited the “substantial public interest in this matter” in announcing the request at a hastily scheduled Justice Department news conference.
However, it also followed a judge’s order in the case that gave a deadline of 5 p.m. on Monday in response to a lawsuit filed by the government accountability watchdog Judicial Watch (see story below).
The raid has drawn considerable outrage on the Right, as well as having been condemned by some on the Left.
The DOJ’s and FBI’s decision to remain tight-lipped about its purpose has exacerbated tensions, which threatened to spill over into mass violence.
On Thursday, an armed assailant attacked an FBI field office in Cincinnati, although it remained unclear whether the motives were related to the FBI’s targeting of Trump.
During the press conference, Garland also said that he personally approved the search warrant, which was part of an ongoing Justice Department investigation into the discovery of classified White House records recovered from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida earlier this year.
It was not immediately clear if and when the unsealing request, filed in federal court in Miami, might be granted or when the documents could be released.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press
Original story below:
(Tony Sifert, Headline USA) A federal magistrate judge who approved the warrant allowing the FBI to raid President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate has issued an order requiring the feds to make the warrant application public by August 15.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) August 10, 2022
In its motion requesting the release of the warrant affidavit– joined by several media organizations — Judicial Watch claimed the the American public had a substantial interest in the reasons for the controversial raid.
“The public has an urgent and substantial interest in understanding the predicate for the execution of the unprecedented search warrant of the private residence of a former president and likely future political opponent,” Judicial Watch wrote.
Judge Bruce Reinhart, who is already an optics disaster for the Department of Justice, issued the order in the aftermath of the political uproar resulting from the unannounced pre-dawn raid which purportedly sought classified documents that President Trump allegedly removed from the White House.
According to Politico, Reinhart “once drew scrutiny for switching from his job as a federal prosecutor to working as a defense attorney on behalf of individuals connected to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.”
Furthermore, Reinhart had previously recused himself from Trump’s Russia hoax lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, ostensibly because of his donations to Democrat politicians and disparaging comments he had made about Trump in 2017 during the latter’s war of words with the late Rep. John Lewis.
In early 2017, Lewis said — irony alert! — that he did not view Trump as a “legitimate president.”
“I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians and others to help him get elected,” Lewis told Meet the Press. “That’s not fair.”
After Trump criticized Lewis, Reinhart took to Facebook to claim that “Donald Trump doesn’t have the moral stature to kiss John Lewis’s feet.”